fab·​ric | \ˈfa-brik \

Definition of fabric 

1a : structure, building

b : underlying structure : framework the fabric of society

2 : an act of constructing : erection specifically : the construction and maintenance of a church building

3a : structural plan or style of construction

b : texture, quality used chiefly of textiles

c : the arrangement of physical components (as of soil) in relation to each other

4a : cloth sense 1a

b : a material that resembles cloth

5 : the appearance or pattern produced by the shapes and arrangement of the crystal grains in a rock

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Examples of fabric in a Sentence

The curtains are made of expensive fabric. scarves made of woven fabrics the fabric of the community
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Recent Examples on the Web

Using a variety of bricks and clever optical tricks, the architects were able to make the windowless, red brick facade look like a piece of wavering fabric. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "This red brick facade looks like a rippling piece of fabric," 19 Oct. 2018 Allow to cool and glue letter patch to center of glitter fabric. Sarah Newell, Seventeen, "11 Ridiculously Awesome DIY Gifts for Your BFFs," 12 Sep. 2018 Catholicism was part of the fabric underpinning all social institutions. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Pope Francis is heading to Ireland in the midst of scandal. It may be his toughest crowd yet.," 24 Aug. 2018 These people describe symptoms that include skin rashes and threads of an unidentifiable fabric emerging from the sores. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "3 Sobering Documentaries on Netflix, Fandor and Field of Vision," 5 July 2018 They’re made out of fabric with a porous membrane, with each pore 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet. Matt Jancer, Outside Online, "A Eulogy to the Sierra Designs Ultralight Trench," 12 June 2018 Pretzels are part of the cultural fabric of Philadelphia. Mari A. Schaefer, Philly.com, "Mystery pretzels, moldy tomatoes and bloody floors recently closed Philadelphia eateries," 16 May 2018 The woman’s headwrap and shirt are a pattern of green, red and blue fabric that Town’s late sister, Mabel Ancrum, wore. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Artist’s Quilts Pay Tribute to African-American Women," 4 May 2018 Specifically, the justices agreed to hear arguments that have simmered between the New Hampshire manufacturer of Coolcore sportswear fabrics, which filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and its distributor. Katy Stech Ferek, WSJ, "Supreme Court to Review Bankrupt Company’s Trademark Dispute," 29 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fabric.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fabric

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fabric

borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French fabrique "act of construction, something created or constructed, the created world, structure, construction and maintenance of a church," borrowed from Medieval Latin fabrica, going back to Latin, "process of making something, craft, art, workshop," noun derivative from *fabricus "of a craftsman," from fabr-, faber "craftsman, smith" (perhaps going back to dialectal Indo-European *dhabh-r- —perhaps of non-Indo-European origin— whence also Armenian darbin "smith," from *dhabh-r-sneh2) + -icus -ic entry 1

Note: The Latin derivative fabrica may have been shortened from fabrica ars, perhaps literally "smith's craft, smith's place of work." The base *dhabh-r- has been compared with Gothic gadaban "to happen, be suitable" and a host of related words (see daft), though the semantic link is tenuous.

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Statistics for fabric

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fabric

The first known use of fabric was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for fabric



English Language Learners Definition of fabric

: woven or knitted material

: the basic structure of something


fab·​ric | \ˈfa-brik \

Kids Definition of fabric

2 : the basic structure the fabric of society

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Comments on fabric

What made you want to look up fabric? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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